The things that’s universal about films with graphic sex (I hate calling it merely ‘pornography’) is that they’re universal: anyone from any culture understands entirely what’s going on. The upside to that is that there’s little need for story – in fact, the Japanese have gone to great lengths with their Pinky/Pinku flicks as well as everybody else with exploitation films of the 1970’s and 80’s in proving the point that all you need is a scantily clad vixen on a mission-for-vengeance, and you’ve got the makings of a cult classic. So far as this reviewer is concerned, it’s when you don’t have enough plot that you’re left only with true pornography, and such is the case with French skin peddler Ovidie.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and/or characters. If you’re the type of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
Ovidie stars herself as reality TV journalist Leonie-Marie, a Barbara Walters for the skin-flick crowd. She’s dedicated herself to exploring her fascination with what she perceives to be human sexuality … but the truth is that there isn’t much sexuality as there is just plain sex. However, her latest assignment takes her to a local swingers’ commune where the residents are exploring the latest derivation of “free love.” Have they truly found it all? Or are they just hedonists with a good property lease?
The sad truth to SEXUAL FREEDOM – the third production shepherded under contemporary ‘feminist pornographer’ Ovidie’s efforts – is that there’s really no story. Rather, there’s a set-up – she’s a journalist photographing sex and speaking to people about their values. Otherwise, there’s no story. There is an attempt to give this narrative hook a story – Leonie-Marie talks in the opening about her disillusionment of the subjects she’s been following in her career – but it is little more than a bookend technique to set-up the opening monologue and the closing salutations.
Now, I’m not so much the prude that I can’t appreciate the performances of these players. I’ve written under the ‘Smart Talk on Skin’ heading for several reviews here at Amazon.com and elsewhere; it’s just that I typically like to spend time watching projects with stories about people. Here, the sex stories are vignettes – the swingers have their own ‘code of conduct’ that’s honestly little more than ‘anything goes’ so far as I could tell – and it’s all meant to provide some kind of tension and/or conflict for which our tele-journalist might re-evaluate her world and what she’s doing. It wasn’t enough for this viewer as I found myself (sorry to say) fast-forwarding through the various sexual couplings actually looking for a story.
These STORIES might work well for the bachelor party, but there’s little stimulation for the brain.
Lastly, I haven’t seen the other two installments of Ovidie’s sex stories; based on what I watched here, I probably won’t be inclined to seek them out, either.
SEXUAL FREEDOM: SEX STORIES 3 (2013) is produced by FrenchLoverTV. DVD distribution is being handled by Breaking Glass Pictures. As for the technical specifications? Well, my guess is that if you’re here looking for more details on this title you’re not really all that interested in production quality, but, as a direct-to-DVD product, it really isn’t all that bad. The sight and sound are above acceptable. For those needing it spelled out perfectly, this is a French-spoken-language release with English subtitles (there is not English dubbing track), and they’re formatted disappointingly bad in here – some of them actually trail off the bottom of the screen, making them difficult to read. Lastly, the disc comes with a special feature: “Eye of Liza” is an exclusive 90-minute behind-the-scenes documentary featuring the film’s star, Liza Del Sierra.
RECOMMENDED if and only if you’re truly looking for something to kill time with that shows mostly plot-less sexual escapades of folks who really don’t care who or how many partners they’re doing the nasty with. SEXUAL FREEDOM isn’t so much a film as it is an excuse to explore sex – not sexuality – without the usual contrivances of story, development, and passion (unless hot and heavy is all you want). See, I like those things – along with a narrative that is worth following – so this one? It just wasn’t for me.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Breaking Glass Pictures provided me with a DVD copy of SEXUAL FREEDOM: SEX STORIES 3 by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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